Michael Flynn Lawyers Argue Against Jail Time

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news.
January 22, 2020Updated: January 22, 2020

Lawyers for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn said their client shouldn’t get any jail time, asking a judge to consider his lengthy time in the military.

Flynn moved last week to withdraw a guilty plea to one count of lying to investigators. If Flynn ends up being sentenced, the lawyers said, Judge Emmet Sullivan should take into account Flynn’s “exemplary character,” the attorneys said.

“He served his country for more than thirty-three years. His family up and down and across the generations proudly served and still serve now,” they wrote, noting that prosecutors acknowledged Flynn’s military service and adding that Flynn is involved in charitable work.

“The Court should weigh Mr. Flynn’s military service substantially and favorably. His choice to dedicate his career to protecting Americans, by putting himself in harm’s way, distinguishes him from the vast majority of all Americans and almost anyone else who appears before this Court for sentencing, and certainly more than anyone else prosecuted by the SCO,” the lawyers wrote.

The lawyers also said the government shouldn’t be rewarded for trying to allegedly punish Flynn for pushing back against requests that he give false testimony while cooperating with the government.

Michael Flynn
Michael Flynn, former national security advisor to President Donald Trump, arrives at the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse for a status hearing in Washington, D.C. on July 10, 2018. Flynn’s lawyers said in a new court filing that Flynn shouldn’t get any jail time. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

“In considering an appropriate sentence, factors like deterrence are considered; the Court thinks about the message it sends to others not before it. Here, the Court should applaud Mr. Flynn’s courage to stand firm against attempted coercion. If other cooperators know that they will be rewarded for testifying truthfully, not testifying to please prosecutors, the search for justice will be enhanced,” they wrote.

“Conversely, attempts by prosecutors to use their extraordinary leverage in an attempt to change the facts to meet their theory, rather than the truth, should be overtly chastised.”

Flynn’s team shifted its strategy this month, arguing in a filing that prosecutors breached the plea agreement reached when Flynn pleaded guilty several years ago. Prosecutors ultimately recommended jail time for Flynn, reversing earlier recommendations for only probation.

Flynn’s lawyers said in a Jan. 16 filing that documents show prosecutors knew that they asked Flynn to lie, noting that conspiring to make someone lie to the government is a federal crime punishable by up to five years in prison.

Flynn lawyer Sidney Powell later said that FBI agents wrote in a draft report from their interview with Flynn that he didn’t lie. Flynn’s defense team has an eyewitness who saw the draft report, she said.

“Can’t say more about witness but yes, person saw it,” she told The Epoch Times in an email.

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